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JP Nadda launches new anti-TB drug

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Bedaquiline is being introduced at six identified tertiary care centres across India

On the occasion of ‘World TB Day’, JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, recently launched Bedaquiline, a new anti-TB drug for Drug Resistant TB (DR TB) as part of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). The drug is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of MDR-TB. This new class of drug is a diarylquinoline that specifically targets Mycobacterial ATP synthase, an enzyme essential for supply of energy to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and most other mycobacteria. This drug is indicated for use in the treatment of drug-resistant TB.

Bedaquiline is being introduced at six identified tertiary care centres across India. These sites have advanced facilities for laboratory testing and intensive care for patients. Bedaquiline will be given to multi-drug resistant TB patients with resistance to either all fluoroquinolone and/or all second line injectables and extensive drug resistant TB.

The Health Minister also released the TB India 2016 Annual Report and the Technical and Operational Guidelines for TB Control in India 2016. The comprehensive set of guidelines are for management of all forms of TB, including drug resistant TB and strategies for intensified case finding; adherence of more patient-centric approaches and single-window care for patients suffering from HIV and TB. A handbook for ‘Healthcare Worker Surveillance for TB in India’ and Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Adverse Reactions associated with anti-TB drugs were the other e-books launched at the event. A new radio campaign with TB ambassador Amitabh Bachchan and social media campaign, was also launched at the event.

Also present on this occasion were, Dr (Prof) Jagdish Prasad, DGHS; CK Mishra, AS and MD; and other senior officers of the Health Ministry, representatives of WHO, World Bank and other development partners.

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